Federal Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton.
Federal Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton. MICK TSIKASAAP

Innocent kids can lose citizenship for parent's terrorism

THE children of a dual national parent who loses citizenship for engaging in terrorism could also lose their status as an Australian citizen.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton introduced the government's proposed laws into parliament on Wednesday.

The laws include numerous clauses likely to be controversial, including some that border on retrospectivity.

Documents explaining the laws showed that the child of someone who had their citizenship revoked for engaging in terrorism here or abroad could also lose their status.

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Under the laws, the minister would be responsible for revoking a child's Australian citizenship unless another responsible parent of the child was an Australian citizen and not a dual national.

Another exception does not allow children to be rendered stateless, in the same way Australian citizens without two registered nationalities could not become stateless.

Other parts of the bill would allow the government to revoke a person's citizenship over "conduct commenced before, on or after" the date the law comes into effect.

While notes for the bill say such clauses were "not retrospective", it could apply to Australians currently fighting overseas with Islamic State, Kurdish forces or other non-government military groups.

Debate was adjourned on Wednesday to continue in six weeks after winter recess.


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